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Google Glass is Ridiculous (nickfranc.is)
98 points by nicholas483 1695 days ago | hide | past | web | 152 comments | favorite

People said the same thing about the huge, bulky cell phones that came out in the 1980s. Who would want to carry around a phone with them all the time? And one that large? It'll never catch on!

Some folks said the same thing about the iPad. Who needs a tablet when I've got a laptop and a smartphone?

What strikes me is that this person is lambasting a product that he hasn't tried first hand. He hasn't lived with it for a week to see how it benefits or hinders his life. It's fine if you don't want one (I don't have a smartphone by choice), but realize that just because you don't want the latest new fangled gadget doesn't mean that it won't have mass market appeal.

Yep, post could be summarised as: "I currently don't want one. Therefore, nobody will ever want one. Anybody that says they do want one is a fanboy."

Agreed. Much of the post is subjective or flat out untrue.

"Puke. I find Glass to be ugly, impractical and completely ridiculous."

And I find Glass to be elegant, useful, and futuristic. So where does that leave us?

And then this:

"they simply don't know what it means to make products that make people happy."

Are you serious?

Certainty in the reverse direction (Google Glass will change the world!) is just as silly, though maybe a little less curmudgeony.

Reality is that our first impression of a new technology is pretty much a coolness measure. Some things look cool and everyone who sees it wants it but are not ultimately useful or impactful (eg segway). Its really hard to tell how important some new technology is.

"My opinion is fact!"

People said the same thing about the huge, bulky cell phones that came out in the 1980s.

Wait, bulky cell phones did not catch on. Cell phones became ubiquitous once they became practical. Go back in time and introduce a modern cell phone (assume the infrastructure to support it) and it would be a huge success.

Maybe the next incarnation of enhanced reality will be huge, but the argument is that this incarnation will not.

But would you get to the modern cellphone without the bulky ones?

Also did the bulky ones not catch on because they were bulky, or because they were expensive or ...?

Exactly. This is version 1 of a entirely new product. Of course it will evolve and iterate. Imagine if they can reduce it to a contact lens or build it into completely normal looking (Warby Parker) glasses.

While I agree with the general point of your post, I think that before resorting to the stock "old man yells at cloud" joke it's worth acknowledging that as a society we've been throwing ourselves at more and more technology fairly mindlessly, letting it take up vast amounts of our time, letting our children use it and develop their minds around it, and restructuring our lives/thinking around it.

So I think we ought to welcome channels of criticism/contemplation rather than just continuing the cycle mindlessly. I get that he hasn't used the product, but at the same time I get where he's coming from. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we necessarily should. It's a worthwhile thought whether or not you agree with his particular criticisms.

Fair enough, but this is not a thoughtful contemplation. He's essentially criticizing the product because it's not being released by Apple.

They also said this kind of stuff about Videophones, and those actually did die.

Sorta - I find I spend an increasing proportion of my workday in Google Hangouts. (And of my holidays on FaceTime calls....)

The implementation died but the idea is everywhere. Skype, FaceTime, Hangout, etc. I have a daily video call on Hangout and last night had a speaker for a meetup talk over Skype. We're using "videophones" all the time.

Maybe they died, if we're talking about fixed station video phones that tried to emulate what George Jetson had. Those were DOA for decades.

Or maybe technology (better bandwidth, front facing cameras in laptops & mobile devices) just caught up with our realization that the concept is more useful when one or both parties are not at their desks or at home.

People also said that the Segway was going to revolutionize the world.

People said the same thing about the huge, bulky cell phones that came out in the 1980s.

that's a strawman. The primary claim is that Google's implementation is lame.

The primary claim in not that 'Glass-type' hardware is lame.

The entire article doesn't contain compelling support for the argument you say he is making. Its a bunch of hand waving about how google gets bored after the engineering. That may be so, but he provides no tactile examples of how this is the case.

I can see your point about how he's attempting to argue the implementation is lame, but its also easy to construe his argument as 'glass-type' hardware is lame. This is an issue with the authors presentation, not with the OPs argument.

agree to disagree.

I started to extract and quote the parts of the article saying the problem is Google's implementation but it was close to being the entire article.

I think he makes a good point about having to talk into your glasses.

Like many over-positive posts though this seems overly-negative. I don't get how someone can have such strong opinions about something they haven't touched or used.

The biggest challenge I see for Glass is practical uses. If I am walking down a country lane does Glass do anything? It would be cool to be able to look at a tree and say "whats this?" and it is identified. Similarly being prompted at a fork. "Left will take you past a waterfall. Right will keep you in the forest"

Realistically though I don't expect any functionality like this will exist outside the city, at least to begin with. Best sellers are practical products for practical people. I am not completely sold this is anything more than a niche item at the moment.

I believe you can already get phone apps that will identify trees and bugs so I don't see any reason why that couldn't be ported to glass.

Similarly, even the demo video shows driving directions and both Google and others provide hiking trail, cycling directions (even offline ones, which you might need in such circumstances).

Personally, I'm interested because I'm a cyclist. I think they'll be in the front lines with anyone else who needs their hands free once the price comes down.

"People said the same thing about the huge, bulky cell phones that came out in the 1980s."

And, I can count the number of people I knew with those early, bulky cell phones on my fingers and toes. It wasn't until the smaller, cheaper cell phones of the 90s that everybody had one.

Will Google Glass lead to something useful? Perhaps. But, will it be a game-changer today? I doubt it.

And he's correct about speech interfaces. So far, all of the readily available consumer versions are horrible.

> It wasn't until the smaller, cheaper cell phones of the 90s that everybody had one.

Why think that was about the size and not more about the price? Every kid I knew who watched Saved by the Bell wanted a mobile phone, they just weren't in the "get it for Xmas or birthday" price range.

This is the trend with pretty much every "x IS y" article.

This needed to be said. The social implications of this device are indeed ridiculous.

Most insightful: "Can you imagine having a conversation with someone that's wearing this thing? I'd feel like they aren't even paying attention."

I already detest people wearing bluetooth headsets. They give off the wrong social cues, they were never really accepted as fashion, and other than government-mandated hands-free use in cars, they appear to be dropping out of popularity (thank god). How is Glass any different, on a social interaction level? How is it any better? How does it solve the problems that bluetooth headsets had? It doesn't. It just requires you to talk to the aether even more.

Which brings us to the other insightful quote: "I can only imagine my morning commute on the bus, with 15 different people talking to the screen on their head just trying to check email." If they don't solve this, that could be a real problem. If anyone using one of these things has even a moment of self-awareness they wouldn't be able to stop laughing.

This is a really prescient article. It brings up exactly the right UI points, and the right problems. These are problems that Google should have started with, because that's how you design good human interactions. Instead they put a computer on glasses with a HUD screen and are screaming "LOOK ISN'T IT COOL" everywhere.

No, it's not. It's not human. And the reason is common among all Google products, to the extent it's almost pathological in the company: they are engineers first. They really aren't set up for human-focused design. It's just not in their DNA.

Do they make cool stuff? Of course. But none of them fit together in the right ways. They always seem to be using rivets when they should have been sculpting from clay.

Making eye contact is the most important part of in-person social interaction, it gives a number of passive and active clues as to the persons intent and emotions.

As neither of us have had any interaction with someone wearing Glass we are both hypothesising, yet I would suggest the number 1 goal was to allow maintaining eye contact when wearing it, and then there were probably some constraints that lead the rest of this initial version, which seems to have been managed.

Whether someone is attentive or not when using it is not the definition of a product. Also, you're entire post really just boils down to hand waving and saying it's all bad.

Absolutely correct, that one interaction is not the definition of a product.

But it does greatly affect it. Even talking on the phone has this element of distraction to it—my dad notices this especially. If I start messing around on the computer in the middle of a phone conversation, he can tell immediately and starts asking me what I'm doing on the computer. Good conversation starter, but it didn't help that I was distracted in the first place.

What happens when I get a notification on my Glass when talking to someone in person? What if a text message comes up and I start reading it. What if a random restaurant notification comes up (an ad? Surely not!). There are any number of things this device adds to conversation, while you're holding eye contact. That eye contact becomes not only eye contact, but unknown eye contact. It becomes more disconnected, even in person.

What would you do if someone took out their phone and started reading their messages while you were trying to talk to them? How is that different from Glass? Can Glass tell when you're having a conversation? Maybe it can, but how do we know?

It complexifies conversation. Personally, I don't believe that will be socially accepted. But you're right, we don't know yet. A lot of this is speculation, and of course the device will be refined and the interactions will be honed as time goes on.

That just brings up another point: the product, its use, and how it fits into everyday life are not well defined. It's beginning from an experimental engineering standpoint. More on a fundamental design level, I think that origin has a lower likelihood of leading to the right type of product.

The UI Overview Slashgear wrote up via a leaker(http://www.slashgear.com/google-glass-in-focus-ui-apps-more-...) says that the swipe down gesture on the touchpad takes you up a level within the UI, and swiping down at the topmost level turns off the screen completely.

> insightful quote: "I can only imagine my morning commute on the bus, with 15 different people talking to the screen on their head just trying to check email."

So, low-quality earbuds are the problem, here, right? I mean, you're talking about listening to other people talking softly on public transportation, and you say the conversation is the problem? Do you similarly hate people who use cellphones or talk with friends on the bus? Should every bus and train be all quiet car, all the time? :)

It's funny: I haven't seen a lot of objections to Glass based on how poorly it seems likely to work[1] (which, you know, I'm hopeful, but wearables haven't caught on, yet...). Instead, objections seem to focus on two aspects:

1. Oh, noes, people can snoop on me! Well, first, they already could, and second, there's literally nothing that can be done except to make sousveillance tech illegal, which will ensure that we only have surveillance.

2. Oh, noes, I can snoop on people! That's an objection that the article seems to be making, here. I have a solution: don't pay attention.

[1] Well, Nick says "impractical", but I didn't see any examples of that unless fashion faux pas are impractical.

If you can't see the difference between someone holding a largish device (say, a phone), point it at you and record a video (hence, obviously snooping) versus same said person closing their eyes, pretending they're sleeping, having their head tilted in your direction and recording a video...

Then yeah, I guess you're the kind of creep this product might appeal to.

Actually, what I want is everything logged that I could have seen or heard, had I been paying attention.

I want to be trying to remember what someone said to me while I was distracted by a road sign, and be able to pull up audio or video of that moment by reference to the distracting sign ("triangular blue sign") by doing a video search via voice input.

I want to have every moment of every day in my life available via search or just for browsing, so that I don't have the experience, day after day, of thinking, "Wow, I wish I'd captured that moment by taking a pic or a video that I could send to my loved ones".

I want to have my systems constantly tag my ongoing conversations with wikipedia lookups so that I can stop pointless debates and move on. And I want other people to have this, too, so that I don't have to convince them.

I want to have systems that deliver on the promise that smartphones had, but which are thwarted by slow wake-up times, bad connections, difficulty of use while driving, low battery lives, etc.

The fact is that we're currently losing almost our whole lives because our current recording technology, human memory, sucks so much. I don't want to forget things. Ever. Again.

* Most of your life is not fun

* The good times are real easy to remember

* Your loved ones don't want every piece of your daily minutiae, really, they don't

* Pointless debates are some of the most hilarious conversations you can have

* Technology will get better

* You never forget the best times, the rest is unimportant

> Most of your life is not fun

> Your loved ones don't want every piece of your daily minutiae, really, they don't

I'm not sure what to say to this. Try to have more fun? :)

> Technology will get better

I'm counting on it! But Glass is not the final attempt to do this -- it's one of the first attempts. Within ten years, absent political dystopia, there will be no way to tell if the person you're having a conversation with is lifelogging.

> You never forget the best times, the rest is unimportant

Empirically untrue, sadly. From reminiscing with friends, it's clear that both they and I have forgotten some of the best times, since I remember some of the best times and have forgotten others, and vice versa. I can remember that I had quite a bit of fun during the late eighties, but the vast majority of the detail is gone. When I've written down decade-old memories and looked at them a decade after that, it really, really often happens that I'm disturbed at how differently I remembered that event when I was halfway closer to it than now. Human memory is so sketchy and malleable that it's just barely useful at all. :(

Unfortunately some of us have terrible memories, and are really important events, such first memories with our children are fading only a few years later.

Having technology that captures this automatically for me is huge! I'd love to have it recording all the time, and to spend a little time each day highlighting the fun bits.

Time with my kids is precious to me, its fun, its good, and I'm sure that both me and them will want to remember them. Having a crap memory sucks, having a piece of technology to do it for me is worth every penny.

> I don't want to forget things. Ever. Again.

Not strictly technology-related, but certainly human related, you might want to read Albert Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past". You might develop a new perspective on "remembering things" and memory after reading the book, a perspective not limited to technology or fancy gadgets but instead one that touches on our very essence as human beings.

There have been covert cameras available for creeps for a long time. And these are a lot less noticeable than Glass... http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/f03a/

Don't agree with those either, but when given the choice to object, I'll object.

Just like I will when some stranger is pointing a mobile phone at me.

Just because it's Glass, assuming I even notice it, I won't clam up and simply think "oh well, because it's ubiquitous and cool, I'll ignore it".

They don't have an internet connection, though.

Yep, the 3G hardware (especially the battery) is still to big to fit such devices, which is probably why Glass also will just tether to your smartphone.

But "spy cameras" with internet connection certainly exist already: http://www.3gspycams.com/3g-spy-cameras

I don't know where you're from, but around here, no one talks softly on public transportation except the crazies.

Heh. :) Most days, I take the VRE or Amtrak into DC to work, and there's always someone talking on their phone, or to their friend in the seat next to them, or to the conductor. Except, mostly, on the Quiet Car.

I hate people who talk on their cellphone on a bus, as well as people who yell with their friends too loudly on a bus.

Concerning your "snooping" point... it lowers the barrier to entry. Sure, people can always take a picture of you, but if they can do it in a discreet way, there's less incentive for them to have the common courtesy to ask.

> Do you similarly hate people who use cellphones or talk with friends on the bus?

Yes, I do hate them, and I thought the common perception was that everyone hates people that talk on the phone when using public transport.

>but wearables haven't caught on, yet...). Instead, objections seem to focus on two aspects:

They have somewhat. I still see a lot of people with those ridiculous bluetooth cyborg ear things.

    "This needed to be said."
Did it really? I didn't find the article insightful in any way, it's only superficial complaints about a product he's never used.

People are excited about this project not because of Google -- they're excited because it's a brand new form factor. It's something that is revolutionary and not just evolutionary. And yes, first generation products do tend to be ugly, slower, and have input problems as I'm sure Glass will. But this was also the case with the first mouse and GUI, the first touch screens, and the first multi-touch screens. They got better, and cheaper. Modern smartphones are incredibly polished after only 5 or 6 years of refinement (that is, from when this no-button multi-touch model took off). And you know what, society adapted to them just fine.

Btw Voice is not the only way to control glass. I'm not sure if voice can be eliminated altogether but that should be easy enough. So the second problem is actually not a problem.

It would be amazing if something similar to Leap were implemented. Imagine how cool it would be - you would simply point/click in the air with your finger where the interface elements were augmentally displayed to you.

Granted, it would look incredibly stupid for the unknowing onlookers though.

I think the future of Google Glass is paring it up with tech like what Emotiv has been working on (http://www.emotiv.com/epoc/features.php). It's already on your head and if we can get the Emotiv like tech far enough to understand a few distinct commands it would create some amazing synergy. If it can recognize my when I think "back" or "home" and maybe "up" and "down" for cycling through menus we can save voice for command sequences.

So if you get a message notification on-screen you can read it and just think "back." Glass would interpret it as a swipe up on the touch or saying "back" by voice, and the message will be marked as read and the screen will turn off. I think voice commands are still very useful for what would be sequences like "Give me directions to the nearest Dunkin Donuts."

I'd genuinely not imagined adding something leap. That's a brilliant idea. I guess depending on where it was pointed, your actions could be more or less obvious. I imagine touching different fingers together to carry out different actions.

It could be just a display/HUD for your phone, sure. That might be more human for when you can't use your voice. But most of the interaction Google shows is via voice, so I'm not seeing it yet, and if it's an afterthought, then I'm guessing it won't be great.

You can control it via touch. This info is present in many reviews. Why are you dismissing something without even researching it?

As I said earlier I'm not sure how much can be controlled via touch but that is a not a big problem to solve. Google shows off voice interactions because it is more cool.

certainly all their hardware has been a complete failure in the marketplace

Nexus 7 sale estimates are 4.6 million. Fine, so they haven't ousted Apple yet, but it's by no means a "complete failure". I like mine :)

That seems to be the only "argument" in the article. The others seem to be arguments from personal incredulity.



He actually name-checks Nexus as an example of a failed product. Meanwhile the Android community is generally in love with the Nexus 4, I know two non-techies who love their Nexus 4s (Nexuses 4?), and I myself think my Nexus 7 is a joy to use.

Granted, there were those problems getting the initial batch of 4s out to the public, but that's hardly grounds to say a company is incapable of making customers happy, surely.

  | there were those problems getting the initial
  | batch of 4s out to the public
If he's hinging his argument on those initial/release production issues, then I guess he views the PS2 as a failure as well?

Yeah, I turned off when Nick said:

Google has never ​had a successful product that people pay for.

And then contradicts himself in the next sentence, saying that he pays for Google Docs. I switched my company to Google Docs Enterprise, and it has been pretty good so far, except for the trips behind the Great Firewall of China. It is definitely worth the money we pay, which really isn't much.

As for Google's hardware, the present generation is pretty good. If I didn't want a hardware keyboard so bad, I'd already have ordered a Nexus 4. I've got the N10, and aside from the occasional crash and video playback glitches, it has been pretty good too. I won't seriously consider a non-Android mobile device for my next purchase, unless it too has an open-source OS.

If they have a version of Glass which has some augmented reality capability, I'd definitely consider purchasing one too. I don't need much, but being able to overlay waypoints over my field of view while navigating would be awesome. I don't currently foresee me using the photo and video capture features much.

Unless I'm wrong, the big ASUS splashed across the back of my Nexus 7 seems to say that someone other than Google made the device.

It is unlikely to Google will build factories to make the Glass, either. It might be a Google-branded product (like ChromeBook Pixel), or something they'll license to other manufacturers (like Android), or a hybrid of these (Nexus). Time will tell.

You mean the small ASUS under the big NEXUS?

No, I don't.

Exactly my point.

The Nexus branding is much more visible than the Asus one. It's over 2x as large and centered directly in your line of sight as you're holding the tablet. You can't seriously think that people would look at the branding and think that it places more importance on the manufacturer than it does the nexus brand name.

Take another look. Just because Nexus is bigger doesn't mean Asus isn't.

By invalidating your point?

So what Google hardware was he referring to when he said it had been a complete failure? Their in-house servers? I suppose they haven't sold any of them...

Asus makes the Nexus 7, so it's not entirely a Google product.

Foxconn makes the iPad, iPhone and iPod. So they are not entirely Apple products..?

Yeah, it is exactly the same thing. It's a pleasure argueing with you.

Disruptive products always come with harsh criticism, mockery. I have no idea if this product will gain any traction, maybe the next one, or maybe it will turn like the Segway. But the arguments in this article are exactly like the arguments thrown at Apple when they lauched the iPhone : it's too expensive, there is no keyboard...

> Puke. I find Glass to be ugly, impractical and completely ridiculous.

It's pretty good for a first version. Get used to it, of course nothing looked like this before

> Let's look at the facts. Google has never ​had a successful product that people pay for

Never say never (again, remember Apple). Also, who says Google is in it for the money (from the sold device) ?

But has Glass seen much criticism and mockery? The majority of early reviews and press I have seen have been gushing.

I love how he formed such strong opinions without ever experiencing it or anything like it. And then says "Puke" about an article from someone that actually DID use it.

Not to mention that he clearly didn't read the article that closely if he thinks that the only way to interact with Glass is to talk to it.

I agree, this was poorly written and comes across as immature.

Bluetooth headsets are effectively a punchline. Google Glass—in its current form—is even worse. Until that enormous blob hanging out in front of the wearer can completely fade into the frame this will be nothing more than a geek curiosity.

I think Google has excellent engineers, and very poor self-restraint. This product is at least 2 generations away from what it needs to be, but instead of working on it in the labs quietly and diligently until its ready, they trot it out proudly. Beta obsessed indeed.

I've never understood the argument against bluetooth headsets. I live in a major city and see them all the time. I wouldn't wear one while sitting at a meal with someone, but neither do I see the sense in holding a phone to my head while walking or working with my hands when I can just as easily use a headset.

Bluetooth headsets are effectively a punchline

They're a tool used by people who favor function over form. I have never met anyone yet who has a coherent argument against them that doesn't boil down to "I am jealous and must try to change the world to believe that those people deserve mockery". It is a rather sad form of bullying.

And for what it's worth, I don't and have never used a bluetooth headset simply because I don't like talking on the phone. But if I did talk on the phone a lot, I wouldn't be so desperately concerned what random nobodies think about it.

"Other than practical folks like Gruber ... "

I stopped reading after that sentence.

Besides, Gruber will rationalise why wearable screens are the next iPhone whenever iGlass comes out :-)

Then you missed a cogent argument:

"If you have a phone in your pocket, why wear this? And it doesn’t seem to replace the need to carry a phone."

You may want to ask the 70,000 people who put money into the Pebble smartwatch Kickstarter... http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper...

Here are the arguments Tog makes for an "iWatch": http://asktog.com/atc/apple-iwatch/

I thought we were discussing Google Glass.

(for what its worth, Gruber backed the Pebble on Kickstarter: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/04/23/pebble-watch )

The line "If you have a phone in your pocket, why wear this? And it doesn’t seem to replace the need to carry a phone." applies to both Glass and smart watches equally.

Both are wearable screens augmenting your phone, though the Glass has additional features, like voice commands and a camera

"If you have a phone in your pocket, why wear this? And it doesn’t seem to replace the need to carry a phone." is not a valid argument against google glass is what he is implying. The same can be said about pebble.

Why carry a phone when you are wearing Google Glasses? ;)

I know it is supposed to be funny but actually you need a phone for the data connection :)

Seems like it will be quite possible with Glass to ditch the full phone and go with a mobile hotspot. By doing calls over that we can push the carriers into what they should be (according to so many geeks these days), dumb pipes.

Heck, keep the hotspot in a bag or make a wearable, unobtrusive hotspot belt or anklet, then the battery size & life can be increased while still having no gadgets in one's pockets. One could put a widrive on the belt/anklet too, so Glass becomes useful even without constant access to the cloud.

...at least until the technology becomes small enough. Though I'm not sure it would be good to keep a GPS/GSM/3G/LTE antenna blaring next to your skull the whole day.

I'd say the set of responses in this thread are pretty expected. I think most miss the point.

His point is that the media are falling all over themselves to praise Google Glass and there is no journalistic skepticism whatsoever. Indeed, many in this thread have no issue with that because they like the technology.

The issues he raises with Glass are reasonable points for non-engineers. (Engineers put up with more than average people do.) The most pressing concern for most consumers will be, simply: "Do I feel stupid using this in public?" I feel stupid using Siri in public. If that were the main product it would have flopped. I feel stupid using my Bluetooth headset in public, and wouldn't own one if it weren't illegal to talk and drive without one. That's not to say that it doesn't have value, just that social pressure is a powerful force.

I do think the media will turn on Glass once it's released. There's nothing they like more than setting something up for a fall. I'm not saying anyone in the press consciously does this; it's just what happens when unmoderated enthusiasm meets reality.

Tech media being positive on Glass is because they are techies. That is a valid point. But it is not what the author says.

"They are competing to see who can do the most over-the-top, overwhelmingly positive review, in hopes of making people at Google happy"

That's a fair point. He identifies a problem but misattributes the cause.

The author isn't very imaginative. He can't think of how he'd use it so the product must be shit.

I ride a motorcycle. Having a HUD for navigation, weather alerts, and phone notifications would be awesome and make my life so much easier.

I'm terrible with names. If Glass could do facial recognition of people I've met and tell me who they are it would greatly improve my interactions.

Using it to augment lifting weights would be sweet. It could time my sets and cooldowns so I get a better workout. Doing so with a phone or a watch is much harder and you can't actively look at them.

This list is just a start. I'm sure I could come up with plenty of other uses.

Using it while driving sounds dangerous!

Glass would be less dangerous than using a GPS. You don't have to look away from the road.

Just the potential medical applications of Google Glass are enough for me to believe the hype. Doctors could use glass to: collect patient data (by photographing injuries, surgeries, symptoms, or lesions); automatically recall patient information (bar codes on patient charts could be scanned by glass and then used to lookup a patients history); automatically scan patients for visual symptoms (such as measuring mole size and looking for melanoma); or display a patients vitals in real time. I concede, however, that they may interfere with the relationship between a patient and a doctor by making it difficult for a patient to make eye contact, or by continually distracting the doctor.

I do agree with the author that Google Glass is a ridiculous consumer product. I wouldn't want to spend time with someone who wore them in a social setting, such as a bar or restaurant.

Can you imagine having a conversation with someone that's wearing this thing

You mean like someone with, well, glasses?

No. The implication of the quote is that, unlike traditional glasses, Google Glass will distract the wearer.

So his point is he is blaming the product for people not being attentive? That would mean the car is at fault for driving without due care and attention, and yet I'm supposed to buy that that is a valuable insight?

I think the point is that when someone has a private always-on HUD right in front of their eyes you can't necessarily tell how much attention they are paying to you.

Are they look at me and smiling because they like me, or have they superimposed a cartoon on top of my face?

If anything Glass will make it really apparent which of your friends are douche buckets.

That would mean the car is at fault for driving without due care and attention

If the car has a TV screen directly in front of the driver, then the design of the car would certainly be at fault for driving without due care and attention. Is that really that controversial?

The Verge had an article in its forums that it promoted to the front page that discussed the privacy implications. The article concluded that many places are likely to ban them from their property.


People seem to assume that the Hoogle glass is going to be stapled to people's heads. Obviously they are not going to be suitable in every situation, would I wear it while driving? No. Would I wear it if I was having a conversation with someone? No. However I wouldn't have my phone out while doing these things either. I can see Google glass filling a function. I'd love to be able to watch Youtube while I'm stuck in a waiting room or record business meetings for later review. I have no idea if it will do end up doing what I hope, however I'm not going to jump to a conclusion like this article without even touching one.

>Google has never ​had a successful product that people pay for.

Pretty sure people pay for AdWords.

Yeah, that was my thought as well.

First, I explained it with "the author means a hardware product", but then he immediately said that Apps where almost a product that people pay for. So, uh, I guess the ad network just doesn't count, since it's "only ads", or something.

It seems to work fantastically well though, both practically and of course economically for Google, and of course it must be seen as being a product at his point.

So, I guess at the end it's just a rant. :)

And despite their supply problems, the Nexus 4/7 are top quality products.

The supply problems seem to be solved now, BTW. I've been able to order several Nexus devices in the last couple of weeks, each arriving within two-three days of the order.

Except the one DHL broke on the way, of course...

No, the 4 suffers from horrendous battery life and it's camera is very 2010.

Weird, I must be imagining the 16+ hours of battery life I've been getting nearly daily for the past 3 and a half months.

I know different people have different usage patterns, but the Nexus 4 battery is far from "horrendous", especially when compared to other flagship devices.

Not to mention Nexus phones (sold out for a while and highly regarded), Chromebooks and Apps for your Domain (enterprise gmail, etc) which is extremely popular

First rule of internet tech blagging: desktop/consumer space is the only thing that matters. See: Linux everywhere on servers and embedded devices, internet still obsessing about whether "grandma" can use it to play solitaire. See also: PHP coders complaining that Java is too slow, because one time they tried to start up Eclipse.

Google has never made anything that this guy and his friends, have paid for, therefore failure.

That just begs the question of whether marketers are actually people.

And android, but people pay for it indirectly.

I've realized that I'm in a weird time in my life where I've been a few years out of college, am not an early adopter (more second wave adopter), and therefore no longer have an innate sense for what is about to take off.

But I do not believe in voice recognition technology as a primary use case. I don't use it when it's available, and even the people I know who advocate its use only, and I mean ONLY, ever use it when they're 100% alone. So that's my 2 cents.

> certainly all their hardware has been a complete failure in the marketplace; from Nexus all the way through likely the biggest failure to date, Google TV.

"Reception of the Nexus 4 has been very positive overall. Reviewers were consistently impressed with the Nexus 4's affordable price and impressive specifications."


"On the day of release, the entire Nexus 4 stock on the Play Store sold out in under 30 minutes."

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_4

To me it seems that in fact Google does make stuff that people actually pay for.

Also Google glass is a prototype, the author is basically speculating about it's future without any insight, he has no way of knowing what will happen to Google Glass, unless he has a time machine or a crystal ball, sure the current Glass is not trendy but the next version may become a lot nicer and less geeky.

Overall, LG did a good job designing and manufacturing the Nexus 4.

> Puke. I find Glass to be ugly, impractical and completely ridiculous.

Well, that settles it then.

If only in the past we had examples of innovations that were previously considered impossible.

> ​In addition, I've yet to see one thing Glass can do better than any other product.

I've read that "the best camera is the one you have on you." If Glass is always on you, it will be the best camera you will likely ever own. All of those moments that last for just a few seconds are out of reach of even your ever-present cell-phone.

Here, try this - click here:


Once you click there, try to take a picture with your cell phone as quickly as you can, and then stop the timer.

I hope you didn't cheat - if your phone was in your pocket, you counted the time to get it out, if you have a PIN on your phone, you had to enter it.

I got about 11 seconds the first try, and 6 the second. Can you seriously not imagine that Glass would be better at capturing those random moments?

The key phrase here is: "Although I haven't used one"

I suppose these could be made into a fashionable or trendy item, and that augmented reality is an inevitability. My problem with it is that I hate how everyone is so distracted in public now. Walking through the tunnels in downtown Houston is a maze of phone zombies. Maybe Google glass could help this because they can at least look forward.

Im a terrible multitasker, and I think that using this (or any augmented reality device) may make me worse at everything. I may be a curmudgeon here, but my father was nearly killed by a texting driver. I wish people could just focus on doing one thing at a time, and google glass seems contrary to that aim.

Engineering is 90%. Is the guy an MBA?

"I'm deeply passionate about product, UX, customer experience and nearly any topic that involves startups"

Snakeoil salesman.

I love how "MBA" is thrown like a cuss word around here. Makes me feel at home. I thought along the same lines by the way. He does have a point that customer experience is a part of making a successful product. After all, customers don't want to make an effort to do something. They paid for it after all. The engineering though is the gateway to everything else and hence the most important part of actually making a product. If you can't do that, you don't even have a product to sell.

'Other than practical folks like Gruber...'

The rest of the article is easily predicted.

This just sounds like someone whining over tech for no reason other than to whine. I'll pass.

A killer app scenario seems to the most likely path to widespread adoption for Glass—something that would promote widespread adoption. Meaning a key use case or feature that makes it popular. Think email, and then the internet for personal computers.

It's hard to make new kinds of products that a lot of people want.

Disruptive products (by the original definition) start out as something almost no one wants, and create new markets for themselves or die. And they aren't "disruptive" until they iterate features to take them into markets that are mainstream for their category.

Basically, they are more innovation than invention, more evolution than revolution.

Google glass is one of those products people get excited about from time to time that tries to jump right to the end game, skipping the evolutionary stages.

Often they are simply ahead of their time, for various reasons. Think tablets before the iPad, for example, or video chat phones decades before computers and mobile phones.

So without a killer app, Glass seems like one of those products that needs a LOT of real-world evolution and iteration before it could become at all mainstream.

Thus a strategy could be to make Glass appealing to developers to better optimize for the possibility of popular features or use cases to be found.

"... Google has never ​had a successful product that people pay for ..."


I hope the crowd here is old enough to remember what this means in newsgroups/irc ;-)

There's no question in my mind Glass is a gimmick which will never see mainstream adoption.

As I Tweeted a couple of days ago, it's the Bluetooth headset times a billion. Something that might be legitimately useful to a small percentage of the population, but wearing it in public makes you look like a tool.

Many accidents happen when people are distracted by their mobile phones. In Germany its not allowed to talk on the phone while operating a car for example. I can only see this getting worse with something like Glass that basically constantly inteferes with your vision and concentration.

It's true Google has yet to sell a hardware consumer product that is wildly successful, but that's also why this is exciting: unlike with nexus tablets or phones, the possibily of becoming the "iPhone" of a new product category exists here, thus from this point of view it might well be the most important thing Google does in the next few years and they (probably) know it, hence they'll (probably) invest more time and resources than they've ever done with a consumer product before. (I'm not saying it will actually become an "iPhone", just that it's strictly speaking possible)

So what. In 5 years we may look back and say it was a dumb idea. Live and learn. I am positive that whatever happens some aspect of the technology will morph into something useful and even better.

I'm not that excited about the product itself but the technology behind it and the opportunities it creates for future tech. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking at it from that angle.

every new technology goes through the hype cycle[1]. generally with new services we are at the peak just before the product launches and that's where we appear to be before I/O.

But the op comes across as very harsh against a product that he hasnt tested and at most has been used by very few people. I think it may generally be bash against the hype of the product rather than anything it offers.


Regarding Google losing interest once it's gone to Engineering. Perhaps that's the idea? Google just wants the advertising revenue from the searches. They will probably be more than happy for Asus/Samsung/HTC to come along and do Glass (or whatever) better/cheaper, just hoping they'll stick with Google as the engine. I think Google's aim with the Nexus and other products is just to keep some competition out there so folk don't all flock to Apple/Siri.

He comes off as over the top jealous, and a little bitter....

Please refrain from ad hominem...

There's too many assumptions and subjectivity in this article to even warrant a good discussion. What if voice wasn't the only way to control glass, e.g., gestures? What if the Glass that we see now isn't the same design as the one that goes public? And about people wearing Glass who probably aren't listening--can't the same be said for people who own a smartphone?

If you don't like it, don't buy it. This article is ridiculous.

Although I haven't used one, I can easily tell you why I'll never buy Glass

Wow. This line should be on the top of the article (not bottom).

> I can only imagine my morning commute on the bus, with 15 different people talking to the screen on their head just trying to check email. I much prefer taking out my phone and pointing to my email.

Of course. But -- envision a Kinnect-like motion sensor on the front. Watching your hands.

Screen privacy is a big win, for me. Not want "so, whatcha doing?" snoops.

Is there any photos or information out on how Google Glass is going to work for people who already need to wear glasses?

Do we really want strangers in the crowd constantly pointing cameras at us? Stalkers should love it!

This immediatly reminded of about Ballmer's reaction to the first iPhone [1] : he started laughing explaining it's too expensive, doesn't have a physical keyboard.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U

Though to be fair, you can't expect a competitor to gush about how great it is.

See, I thought this recent demonstration of Google Glass was of a prototype. I heard it was going to be fully refined and released by the end of 2013. There's a lot of work left to do in my opinion to make it sexier and more usable. Will they ever manage it?

I'd have no problem with somebody wearing this while I am in conversation with them. I would probably find it better than trying to speak to someone who is glued to their phone.

I think people won't buy it because it's not fashionable. 1) People already opt out of glasses in favor of contacts. 2) People already wearing glasess will just look awkward.

Products that make their users look like dorks seldom succeed.

The author seems to think he is going to forced to get one. If you don't want it , don't buy it.

Well, eventually the author may have to get one if this succeeds. There is quite a strong social pressure for people to get mobile phones, Facebook, whatever.

Just imagine the conversation starting with we do our company staff meetings daily using Hangouts on Glass, and everybody is expected to join...

It's worse than that. They fear that other people will want to get one. As with the hysterical reaction to the Galaxy Note (people desperately falling over themselves to tell everyone that it is a compensation for penis size), this is someone who decided to be anti-Google, and from that their every "judgment" is predictable.

I don't know what is more ridiculous: the article or the fact that it is on the first page.

The main problem with voice control is that you don't know who people are talking to when they talk in the air. That's why bluetooth headsets are considered awkward while holding a cellphone to your ear is not. Glass would need a simple social cue, like touching the side of it to enter voice commands.

Sweeping generalizations are ridiculous. Always.

Cliche-heavy writing.

anyways the pre-release is subsidised cost, they can very well make it 499$ or better 199$ no they want to price it 1500$ .

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